9 Jan 2020

Suspended Samoa prisons commissioner awaits decision

3:51 pm on 9 January 2020

An investigation into the suspended Commissioner of Prisons and Corrections in Samoa has been completed but is awaiting a legal opinion from the Attorney General.

Tanumalala high security prison.

Tanumalala high security prison. Photo: RNZ Pacific / Tipi Autagavaia

Taitosaua Edward Winterstein was suspended in October following a spate of prison escapes from the newly opened multi-million dollar Tanumalala Prison.

Minister for Prisons Tialavea Tionisio Hunt told the Samoa Observer the investigation's findings would be given to Attorney General Lemalu Herman Retzlaff when he returns from an overseas trip.

Tialavea said a second investigation had also been launched by the Ombudsman's Office into the conduct of prison guards on the night of the escape of two high-profile and dangerous prisoners - Lauitiiti Tualima and Aniseko Vailei.

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